Truancy and term-time holidays in the spotlight

Report suggests truancy fines increase, though term-time holidays will be at head teachers’ discretion

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In a report published today, Charlie Taylor, the Government’s truancy advisor, will warn parents that taking children out of school for cheap term-time holidays is jeopardising their children’s prospects, reports The Daily Mail.

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The new report also proposes tougher fines for truancy, and for those who refuse to pay, the money would be taken from child benefit. If they fail to pay and don’t get child benefit, the money could be recovered through county courts, reports The Guardian. The proposals would see truancy fines increase from £50 to £60 and then rise again if not paid in time.

Head teachers would still have the discretion to give permission for term-time holidays, according The Telegraph, though tougher rules should be imposed to deter parents, the report says.

“Children have on average eight days off a year for sickness and hospital appointments. If on top of that they take an annual two-week holiday then by the time they leave at 16 they will have missed nearly a year of school. This needs to change,” said Charlie Taylor.

“Head teachers will continue to have discretion but holidays in term-time should be the exception rather than the rule,” he added.

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